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Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer The Bypass to be screened at the Bandra Film Festival

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A rare  short film featuring the much-missed   Irrfan Khan  with   Nawazuddin Siddiqui The Bypass ,their only film together  since  Ritesh Batra’s globally feted  The  Lunchbox, will be screened at the Bandra Film Festival under the theme Hidden Gems and will release on 30th August 2022.

Written and directed by Amit Kumar, The Bypass is a 2003 short silent Bollywood film that was shot on a stranded road in Rajasthan. Having no dialogues, this short proves to deliver pure cinema through spectacular, raw & textbook acting of the actors. The film was earlier screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Aubagne Film Festival.

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The Bypass is about two friends (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sundar Dan) who frequently mug and ultimately kill the people who travel by the nearby road and Irrfan Khan played the role of a corrupt police officer.

Director Amit Kumar shared, “In my first film, The Bypass, I had the honour of bringing two consummate actors together – the late Irrfan and Nawaz. It was one of those times when everything came together perfectly: the fabulous cast, the wonderful crew and the evocative locations. My film is also a tribute to the silent era, where acting chops, a strong script and visual storytelling were the most important tools of filmmaking. Not only did this allow me to work with my Uncle and early inspiration, Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha, AKA Baba, it was also an exciting early step in my creative collaboration with my friend from our Film school times the Oscar winning Asif Kapadia.  Who knew we’d still be happily collaborating nearly 20 years later! With so many happy memories attached to it, it’s great to see the film get another run after so many years. Bandra Film Festival is doing a fabulous job of showcasing interesting films which may not have had an exposure in the mainstream.”

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British director and  producer  of The Bypass Asif Kapadia  who directed  Irrfan in the  internationally  acclaimed  Warrior  in 2001  considers  this  short  film as  important  to his  career. “The Bypass was a key moment in my journey as a filmmaker, it was a long time ago, but it still feels so vivid, the crazy experience far off the beaten track in the burning hot desert. Was it a dream? Or a nightmare? For a film to bring together the late great, dearly loved and missed Irrfan, and the fantastic Nawaz at the start of his incredible career. My good friend Amit (bhai) Kumar writing and directing, what I think is his best film, because it was made with no compromises.  It was a family affair with Rajeev Ravi as cinematographer, Oscar winner Dario Marianelli as composer.   BAFTA winner Andy Shelley editing and creating the sound design. What a cast and crew!! I feel the only true way to judge a film, any film, is to see if it stands the test of time, and The Bypass does, with flying colours. It is still as brilliant, tough, shocking and raw as the day it was completed. It’s pure cinema, it’s perfect and like all great cinema it deserves to be seen by audiences far and wide.”

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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother In Pathaan

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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother

Ever  since Pathaan released on Wednesday, audiences  have been  curious to know who  is the woman who plays Shah Rukh Khan’s adoptive mother in Afghanistan. The stately lady  with  royal looks is none  other than the late producer  Tahir Hussain’s daughter and  Aamir Khan’s elder  sister Nikhat Khan.

 Nikhat has been  closely  associated with the  film industry  and has helped her father in the production of his  films like Dulha Bikta Hai and  Tum Mere  Ho.

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Nikhat has  acted earlier in the Akshay Kumar starrer Mission Mangal ,  Ajay Devgan’s Tanhaji and  in Sandh Ki Aankh(as a Maharani).

For Pathaan, it was Shah Rukh Khan who suggested Nikhat Khan should play his foster-mother in  Afghanistan who names him ‘Pathaan’. It proved to be  an inspired  piece of casting, as  audience have  loved Nikhat  Khan’s cameo.

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It is  heartwarming that  all three Khan superstars  are  associated with Pathaan in one  way  or the other.

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Anurag Kashyap’s New Film Is About Love Jihad

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Love Jihad, whatever  that means, is  the theme  of  Anurag Kashyap’s new film Almost Pyaar  With D  J Mohabbat.

Debutant Karan  Mehta plays a Muslim boy  in an intense relationship with  Alaya F who plays  a Hindu  girl.Kashyap has spared the  audience none of the ugliness that  such a relationship generates  among  social-media  bouncers, the self-styled  guardian of morality .

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In the hardhitting powerful and pertinent film  a  bigot is heard commenting snidely, “These people first talk about Mohabbat. Then  they talk about Mohammed.”

Happily and  surprisingly,  the Central Board Of Film Certification gave the  film a ‘UA’ certificate  with no  cuts: a  rare non-‘A’ film of Kashyap.

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So far  Kashyap and his  team have kept the Love Jihad part  of  the plot  out of all media interaction.

But the  cat is  now  out of the bag.

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu to Star Alongside Varun Dhawan in Prime Video’s Indian Original Series , Samantha Speaks

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu

Samantha Ruth Prabhu will be starring alongside Varun Dhawan in the Indian installment of the Citadel universe, the global-event series from Prime Video and the Russo Brothers’ AGBO. The untitled Citadel series based out of India is being helmed by renowned creator duo Raj & DK (Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK), who are the showrunners and directors.

 The local installment is written by Sita R. Menon, along with Raj & DK. The streaming service also confirmed that the production is currently underway in Mumbai. After this, the unit will head  to North India and then onwards to international locales like Serbia and South Africa.

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  Richard Madden (Bodyguard) and Priyanka Chopra Jonas will star in the first-to-launch series within the Citadel universe, which comes from the Russo Brothers’ AGBO along with David Weil (Hunters) and is set to premiere in 2023. Alongside Madden and Chopra Jonas, the first-to-launch Citadel series will also feature Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games saga). Additional local-language Citadel productions are also in the works, including an Italian Original series starring Matilda De Angelis (The Undoing).

  Speaking on  her participation in  The Citadel  franchise for  the  first time,Samantha says, “When Prime Video and Raj & DK approached me with this project, I decided to take it up in a heartbeat! After working with this team on The Family Man, it is homecoming for me.The Citadel universe, the interconnected storylines between the productions across the globe, and most importantly, the script of the Indian installment really excited me.”

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   Samantha  says she is  looking forward  to working with Varun Dhawan  .  “I am thrilled to be a part of this brilliant universe conceptualised by the Russo Brothers. I am also looking forward to be working with Varun for the first time, on this project. He is someone who is full of life and cheer when you’re around him.”

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Bollywood’s Achche Din Have Come

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 Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar

All you doomsday  prophets, the  booms-day  profits  are here.  Pathaan  has  opened the floodgates again for Bollywood’s  bumper  bonanza at the  boxoffice.And now there is  only the achche din ahead  for  Hindi  cinema.

In the  next   two months there are  three sureshot  blockbusters coming up, beginning with Shehzada.  An astute devilishly impish  adaptation  of  Allu Arjun’s  2020 Telugu   blockbuster  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.The super-popular Kartik  Aaryan gives  his own  spin to the  character. This  performance will take   Kartik to the  next level of stardom. Kartik’s version of  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is  radically different  from  its Telugu  version. Shehzada  takes  the core idea of  the Telugu original  and turns it into a  something  completely different. Kartik’s  co-star in Shehzada  is  Kriti  Sanon with whom he earlier shared superhit space in Lukka Chuppi.

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 Then there  is Luv Ranjan’s ravishing rom-com   Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar. The director’s   male viewpoint on the chaos  of love relationships  crests to a comic  high in his latest. Ranjan  for  the first time, collaborates with Ranbir Kapoor for the  first time  collaborates with Shraddha  Kapoor  who badly needs a hit.This film should do the  trick. The winsome  lead pair tries  to do one  another  in a  game of Luv This is Luv Ranjan’s Hum…Aapke Hain Con. Ranjan  has in the past used  the romcom  space to  entertain his audience  to the hilt, he  says this  time the stakes are different. It is  not something we’ve seen before.

 Finally  it is   Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.  Karan  Johar’s first directorial in six years(not counting the one segment each  in Ghost Stories and  Lust Stories). This time he has assembled a dream star-cast  of Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Ranveer Singh and  the  boxoffice darling(s) Alia Bhatt.  But trust me, this one is  not about assembling stars  into a complacent plot. The writing in this  zany Romeo & Juliet is so crisp  and engrossing, the experience  is  likely to be   the visual version of a multi-flavour icrecream cone. Colour, choler and karma collide in this tragic-comic love story . Let the  box office dhamaka  begin  from the house  of Dharma.

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